Having hobbies and the risk of cardiovascular disease incidence: A Japan public health center-based study


      • Hobbies are positively correlated with improved physical health and well-being.
      • This is the first cohort study to show the association of having hobbies with cardiovascular diseases (CVD) risk.
      • Having hobbies was associated with a lower risk of CVD, especially stroke.
      • Sex, age, mental stress levels, and sports frequency did not modify the association.


      Background and aims

      The role of hobbies as a protective factor against cardiovascular diseases (CVD) has gained increasing attention; however, no large-scale studies were performed to confirm this. We aimed to examine the association between having hobbies and the risk of total CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD), and stroke in a large Japanese cohort.


      A total of 56,381 adults aged 40–69 years were divided into the non-hobby, having a hobby, and having many hobbies groups. We performed Cox proportional hazard models to estimate the hazard ratio (HRs) for incident CVD, CHD, and stroke after adjusting for potential confounding factors.


      We identified 3685 incident CVDs (940 CHDs and 2839 strokes) during a median follow-up of 16.3 years. After multivariable adjustment, compared to the non-hobby group, participants having a hobby and many hobbies had a 10% (HR = 0.90 [0.83, 0.97]) and 20% (HR = 0.80 [0.69, 0.93]) lower risk of CVD incidence, respectively. The risk of CHD was lower in those with many hobbies, but the association between having many hobbies and CHD risk was not statistically significant. We also found a similar inverse association for stroke. Compared to the non-hobby group, participants having a hobby and many hobbies had a 13% (HR = 0.87 [0.80, 0.96]) and 20% (HR = 0.80 [0.68, 0.94]) lower risk of stroke.


      Having hobbies was associated with a lower risk of CVD. Engagement in hobbies may emerge as an important target for healthy lifestyle promotion for the primary prevention of CVD.

      Graphical abstract



      ANOVA (analysis of variance), BMI (body mass index), CHD (coronary heart disease), CI (confidence intervals), CVD (cardiovascular diseases), HR (hazard ratio), JPHC (Japan Public Health Center), OR (odds ratio)
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